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Bruce Conner
It’s All True, New York

22 settembre 2016

“Sono / un artista / un anti-artista / un romantico / un realista / un postmoderno / un ribelle / sottile / provocatore / alla mano / oscuro / spirituale / profano: è tutto vero”. Così si definì l’intransigente Bruce Conner (1933-2008), e così lo ricorda il MoMA all’ingresso della retrospettiva a lui dedicata – che nei prossimi mesi proseguirà al San Francisco Museum of Modern Art e al Museo Reina Sofía di Madrid. Una mostra che produce disagio fin dalla prima sala, riservata alla proiezione di A Movie (1958), 180 frammenti di film in 16 mm dove la narrazione del mito americano si trasforma in un’inquietante rappresentazione di guerre, violenze, bombe atomiche e speculazione sessuale. Seguono numerosi assemblage, tutti realizzati tra il 1959 e il 1963, prima dell’ascesa del Nouveau Réalisme in Europa. Accumulazioni di bambole amputate, mozziconi, lamette, capelli e oggetti di dubbia provenienza avvolti in calze che come ragnatele uniformano il tutto in un grigio spettrale. Conner prova disgusto per la società americana – per l’immagine pura e disinvolta del Secondo Dopoguerra – e reagisce evocando un paesaggio di morte che intreccia realtà terrena, iconografie religiose e archetipi hollywoodiani. Il culmine è il Piccolo Museo degli Orrori, parterre di zombie in cera e scarti di vario tipo: una visione apocalittica dell’umanità che sembra risolversi nel tentativo di un ordine forse catartico, certo ossessivo: quello dei disegni della serie Mandala, che dal 1962 in poi lo accompagneranno fino alla fine della sua vita insieme a video e fotografie. Dopotutto, se l’arte ha il dovere morale di non compromettere la verità, niente, neanche l’arte, può togliere all’artista la speranza.

Bruce Conner: It’s All True
A cura di Stuart Comer, Laura Hoptman, Rudolf Frieling, Gary Garrels
MoMA, New York
3 luglio – 2 ottobre

Installation view of BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 3-October 2, 2016. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.

Installation view of Bruce Conner: It’s All True. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.

 Installation view of BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 3-October 2, 2016. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.


Installation view of Bruce Conner: It’s All True. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.

 Installation view of BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 3-October 2, 2016. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.


Installation view of Bruce Conner: It’s All True. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.

 Installation view of BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 3-October 2, 2016. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.


Installation view of Bruce Conner: It’s All True. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.

 Installation view of BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 3-October 2, 2016. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.


Installation view of Bruce Conner: It’s All True. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck.

 Bruce Conner. BREAKAWAY. 1966. 16mm film (black and white, sound). 5 min. Digitally restored 2016. Courtesy Conner Family Trust. © 2016 Bruce Conner.


Bruce Conner, BREAKAWAY, 1966. Courtesy: Conner Family Trust. © 2016 Bruce Conner.

 Bruce Conner, LOOKING FOR MUSHROOMS, 1959-67. Collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Accessions Committee Fund purchase), with the generous support of the New Art Trust. Courtesy: Conner Family Trust. © 2016 Bruce Conner.


Bruce Conner, LOOKING FOR MUSHROOMS, 1959-67. Collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Accessions Committee Fund purchase), with the generous support of the New Art Trust. Courtesy: Conner Family Trust. © 2016 Bruce Conner.

 Bruce Conner. 23 KENWOOD AVENUE. 1963. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase and partial gift of Achim Moeller in memory of Paul Cummings. © 2016 Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


Bruce Conner, 23 KENWOOD AVENUE, 1963. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase and partial gift of Achim Moeller in memory of Paul Cummings. © 2016 Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

 Bruce Conner. BOMBHEAD. 1989. Collage of found illustration and photocopy. Courtesy Conner Family Trust. © 2016 Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


Bruce Conner, BOMBHEAD, 1989. Collage of found illustration and photocopy. Courtesy: Conner Family Trust. © 2016 Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Bruce Conner. HEART/WORM/MIRROR. 1960. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bagley Wright. © 2016 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, and Vivian Kurz. Photo: Ben Blackwell, courtesy San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Bruce Conner, HEART/WORM/MIRROR, 1960. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bagley Wright. © 2016 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, and Vivian Kurz. Photo: Ben Blackwell. Courtesy: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

 Bruce Conner, LOOKING GLASS, 1964. Collection SFMOMA, gift of the Modern Art Council © Estate of Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Ben Blackwell.


Bruce Conner, LOOKING GLASS, 1964. Collection SFMOMA, gift of the Modern Art Council. © Estate of Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Ben Blackwell.

Bruce Conner. BLACK DAHLIA. 1960. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2016 Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Bruce Conner, BLACK DAHLIA, 1960. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2016 Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

 Bruce Conner. CHILD. 1959-50. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Philip Johnson. © 2016 Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Digital image © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: John Wronn.


Bruce Conner, CHILD, 1959-50. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Philip Johnson. © 2016 Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Digital image © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: John Wronn.

 Bruce Conner. SOUND OF ONE HAND ANGEL. 1974 Collection SFMOMA, purchase © Estate of Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Ben Blackwell.


Bruce Conner, SOUND OF ONE HAND ANGEL, 1974. Collection SFMOMA, purchase © Estate of Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Ben Blackwell.


Sara Dolfi Agostini

Curatrice e giornalista, vive tra l’Italia e gli Stati Uniti, ma spesso cambia rotta per visitare musei, biennali e studi d’artista. Specializzata in arte contemporanea e fotografia, è consulente scientifica della Triennale di Milano. Inoltre, ha co-curato il progetto di arte pubblica ArtLine Milano e scritto il libro Collezionare Fotografia (2010, con Denis Curti). Collabora con Il Sole 24 Ore dal 2008.


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